I was barely able to see the words on the screen through my tears. It was the most beautiful and powerful thing I had ever read.
A few months ago, when I traveled to Orlando for Jill Smokler's book signing, I saw Kelle's new book, Bloom, on a Mother's Day table display. I picked it up and was blown away by how visually beautiful it was. Then I remembered her words. I took a photo with my phone and texted my hubby that I wanted him to buy it for me.
There are times when I read another writer's work and am simply in awe. Kelle Hampton has that effect on me. Her talent with words is magical.
As a reader, you feel as if you are part of her story, rather than simply an observer of it. Her tone is so accessible, her style so authentic. And if you spend any time at all here, you know I am drawn to people who are that way.
Kelle's second child has Down Syndrome. It was not expected. She bravely and candidly shares her emotional turmoil following her daughter's birth. She had a normal response - she grieved. Then she put on her big girl pants and got on with life.
I have always believed it is not what happens to you in life, but how you choose to respond that matters. And it is always a choice. I have been through some very difficult times in my own life. My challenges are not the same as Kelle's. But I understand and admire the courage, strength and grace with which she is facing hers.
But Kelle's book is about much more than having a child with Down Syndrome. And I related to her in so many ways. As a mother, definitely. As a blogger, who understands the power of online connections. As a woman who has gained great perspective with age and currently finds herself the happiest she has ever been.
There were some ways I wished I couldn't relate to Kelle. Through my work with The Mom Pledge, I have seen a lot of unpleasant things. But when she shared some of the nasty anonymous comments left on her blog, I was shocked. And angry. I had one of those down-on-the-state-of-humanity moments.
People write that she is too positive and too happy and is in denial. They tell her she needs to wake up and realize her life is s--t because she has a child with Down Syndrome. They attack her because she chooses to have a positive outlook about her situation and make the best of it.
Kelle also writes about spending a night online doing research and reading horrible things people had written concerning those who have Down Syndrome. About that she says, "the world is full of pain - pain that people harbor inside and lash out, projecting their hurts onto the undeserving."
I think that is very well said, and will work to keep that in mind when I am dealing with the ugliness of cyber bullying. It is just one of the ways Kelle Hampton has inspired me.
How will she inspire you?